Russia's military buildup along the Ukrainian border in Belarus is growing in both personnel and weaponry, according to NATO.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the Russians were increasing their presence in neighboring Belarus by the "thousands." The country is located north of Ukraine and is closer to the capital city of Kyiv than Russia.
"What we have seen is a continued military buildup by Russia. And of course that is something we follow very closely," he said in front of the Atlantic Council. "They are deploying more troops, more heavy equipment, and now also thousands of combat troops to Belarus, also with aircraft, helicopters, and advanced weapon systems ... and other weapon systems into Belarus. So that military buildup continues."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has mobilized more than 100,000 troops around Ukrainian borders, raising widespread fears that a new offensive could come, and the White House recently has warned that an incursion could occur "at any point."
While both sides continue to stand off against one another, Stoltenberg said Russia’s willingness to engage diplomatically in recent weeks is “a good sign." He also expressed the possibility that Putin hasn’t yet decided on “any final decision” as to whether Russia should invade.
Various Ukrainian officials have downplayed the increased possibility of an incursion recently, while their U.S. counterparts have heightened their warnings.